Warwickshire Rural Hub
Legislation & Regulation
Download the Guide to Cross Compliance in England 2019
The new guide to Cross Compliance rules in England for 2019 can be downloaded here.
There are no confirmed policy changes to the rules for 2019. However, please be aware that for SMR 1 Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) land that was in an NVZ for the first time in 2017, transitional arrangements have been in place to not meet some of the NVZ rules. These arrangements come to an end in July 2019, when the requirement to meet all the NVZ rules starts on 31 July 2019. For more information read SMR 1: Nitrate Vulnerable Zones on page 39 of the guide.
Cross Compliance rules for January 2019
1st – You must start following the rules in the cross compliance 2019 guide from this date. The Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) 2019 year starts.
1st – You can apply organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (for example, slurry, poultry manures or liquid digested sewage sludge) to grassland and tillage land on shallow or sandy soils from this date if conditions are suitable and you adhere to the quantity restrictions for application of these manures. (SMR 1)
1st – Beginning of the year for assessing the annual amount of livestock manure applied to your land. (SMR 1)
16th – You can apply manufactured nitrogen fertilisers to grassland and tillage land from this date if conditions are suitable. (SMR 1)
Reminder of key dates in December
1st – BPS 2018 payment window opens
1st – You need to carry out your annual inventory of sheep and goats. (SMR 8)
31st – Official end of the BPS 2018 scheme year
Countryside Stewardship and Greening
In a change for 2019 it will not be possible to use Countryside Stewardship option land to meet greening Ecological Focus Area (EFA) requirements for the BPS. This will apply to all CS agreements, regardless of start date.
Existing CS agreement holders: From 1 January 2019 existing agreement holders will no longer be able to overlap the 19 ‘double funding’ options with EFAs declared for BPS – the 19 CS options can however be co-located with EFAs declared for BPS in the same land parcel, so they can be in the same land parcel but cannot overlap.
New 2019 CS agreement holders: For CS agreements with a 1 January 2019 start date it will not be possible to overlap the 19 ‘double funding’ options with EFAs declared for BPS – the 19 ‘double funding’ options can however be co-located with EFAs declared for BPS in the same land parcel, so they can be in the same land parcel but cannot overlap.
HLS and ELS agreement holders: There is no change from the current arrangements.
Making Tax Digital starts on 1 April 2019
With effect from 1 April 2019, if your taxable turnover is above the VAT registration threshold you must follow the Making Tax Digital rules. Full information is available here.
Felling licences are now available on-line
The Forestry Commission has now made their felling licences available in digital format, allowing you to track, manage and print your licence on-line. Visit this page for further information.
Nitrate Vulnerable Zone/Drinking water safeguard zone map published
The final map showing Nitrate Vulnerable Zones and drinking water safeguard zones has been published by the Environment Agency. 55% of England’s total area is designated an NVZ.
New laws on equine identification
New laws surrounding equine identification came into force in England on 1 October. Defra’s new equine identification regulations legally require every horse, pony and donkey to be microchipped and possess a valid UK passport, with details stored in the Central Equine Database. All horses born after 30 June 2009 are already required to be microchipped. Owners of horses born before this date will have two years from today to get their equines microchipped.
2017 Cross Compliance breaches
The RPA recently released the number of failures from the cross compliance inspections carried out in 2017 and the main reasons for the breaches. The full report can be found on Gov.uk
Updated information on riparian rights
Updated information on your responsibilities and rules to follow for watercourses on or near your property, and permissions you need to do work around them, have been placed on the Gov.uk website. Visit the link below to view the information.
New rules for fertilizer management to protect water quality
From April 2018 all farmers in England will need to follow a new set of farming rules for water. New regulations will now be made which will give these rules legal force from then. The rules will:
• promote good practice in managing fertilisers and manures through eight rules covering planning and use, storage and application of fertilisers and manures and soil erosion measures
• encourage land managers to take reasonable precautions to prevent diffuse pollution from runoff or soil erosion
• require soil tests at least every 5 years on cultivated land
• protect land within 5 metres of watercourses from significant soil erosion by preventing poaching by livestock.
Further details can be found on the website below.
Enhanced TB control measures
From November 2017 enhanced TB control measures will be introduced to reduce the risk posed by inconclusive skin test reactors. This follows on from a consultation held in 2016.
All inconclusive reactors (IRs) in the High Risk Area (HRA) and Edge Area (and in TB breakdown herds in the Low Risk Area) that have a negative result on re-testing will remain restricted for the rest of their life to the holding in which they were found. The only permitted off movements for such animals will be to slaughter (either directly or via an Approved Finishing Unit).
Warwickshire re-classified as fully in the Edge Area for TB
Following a public Defra TB consultation held in 2016, and an informal consultation held in October 2017, Defra has announced enhanced cattle measures in the Edge Area; which will take effect from January 2018.
The changes from January 2018 include re-classification of Edge Area counties. The following part Edge, part High Risk Area split counties will be re-classified as fully in the Edge Area
Warwickshire and Oxfordshire
East Sussex, Derbyshire and Cheshire
Government announces plans to introduce trickle irrigation licensing
Defra has announced plans to end water abstraction licensing exemptions in England and Wales. It is expected that these changes will be made shortly, opening a two year abstraction licence application window on 1 January 2018.
It is estimated that 5,000 existing operations will require an abstraction licence for the first time and expected that most applicants will successfully secure abstraction licences that meet their historic needs. Exempt operators such as trickle irrigators will have two years to submit their licence application with effect from 1 January 2018. The licence determination process must be completed within five years of the application window opening.
Reminder on water abstraction licences
If your current water abstraction licence is due to expire, and you want to continue to abstract, you need to apply for a new licence at least 3 months before the existing licence expires.
For more information on applying for a water abstraction licence, please visit the website below.
EU vote not to block changes to greening rules
The EU Parliament has voted not to block proposed changes to greening and other elements of BPS rules. The ban on the use of plant protection products on field-based Ecological Focus Area options will therefore come into force. No timescale has been given.
Please be reminded that Dewlap tags, which are inserted through the dewlap of cattle, are legally classed as a mutilation (Animal Welfare Act 2006). Using the dewlap tag is therefore illegal and if farms are found to be using these tags at an RPA or APHA inspection it will be considered a rectifiable breach and will incur a penalty.
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